It has been ages since I have posted just about Benjamin and what he is up to. That's because on his 19m "birthday" we were off gallivanting across the southwest.
Today though Benjamin is 20 months old. A lot has changed since I posted about him on July 5th. So much I hardly can keep track of it because most of it seems like "old news" to me.
But let me give it a shot.
Clothes: He recently started wearing size 6 shoes. He loves to wear hats. He still is wearing 18m clothes for the most part but can pull of 24m shirts no problem. 24m pants are too long still. I am trying to figure out what to do with his fall wardrobe. I don't want to buy a bunch of 18m pants he will outgrow by Christmas, but I don't have enough pants to cover him full time (without using the shorts). Time to go to the second hand shop and see what I can wrassle up.
Gross Motor: He is not yet jumping, but he can run. We went through a day or two where he was trying to run faster and falling a lot, but his muscles caught up. He has gotten a lot more proficient at stairs. He likes the playground - especially going up the steps and down the slide. He loves loves loves benches. When we go on walks he needs to climb up on every bench he sees. He doesn't stay up there long, but he wants to get up there. Just today he started to climb up onto a kitchen chair for dinner. (He sits on a calculus book on a regular chair these days). He has a big-wheel style bike. He has gotten really good at scooting it around. I have showed him what the pedals are for, but his legs are not quite long enough.We have been trying to play more music because its so cute seeing him dance.
Fine Motor: Benjamin has really gotten better at puzzles and shape sorting - he has the dexterity to line things up better (or maybe the patience?). He colors as well, and likes to draw with a pen. He absolutely loves the sandbox. He likes to shovel sand into trucks or buckets and dump it (usually on himself).
Language: To say there has been a "language explosion" is an understatement. In the past couple of months Benjamin has started saying so much more, and trying to say so much more. He often uses words we didn't even know we taught him. For example, calling a station wagon a wagon instead of just a car. Today he was saying "monster" pretty well and he recently told me dinner was "yummy". Sometimes he still babbles. He goes 'dibba dibba dibba" and its absolutely adorable. There are still some code words in Benjamin-speak. For example, if he says "beep beep beep" be means something is backing up, or should back up. The other night he said "beep beep beep" when he wanted a door the cats had pushed open to be closed (the door should back up). He imitates a ton - especially if you yell or make any sort of weird noise. If you yell at the pets (no, back off, stop) he will do so as well. He learned to say "O-H!" and get us to say "I-O!" last Saturday. He likes to play language games. For example - He will say "mama, mamam, mmaammaa" and expect me to say "Benjamin" back. Then he will say "Dada" and expect DH to say Benjamin. He also has discovered possession and frequently asks if things are his ('mine mine?"), or points out/confirms they are his. (for example, food before eating it).
Communication: Even bigger than the language changes are the communication changes. He understands SO much now! We have been trying to be really good about telling him what is going on. Sometimes it goes well ("Benjamin, after this last time down the slide we are going home. Benjamin, I am going to drop you off at daycare, but I will be back later.") Other times it goes poorly - like the time I told him in the morning that we would see Grandma&Grandpa that evening, and he misunderstood and was disappointed when we showed up at daycare instead of "baba"s house. When he gets upset I really try to get his attention and talk to him - ask him what is wrong, what he wants, or explain what is going on. It works a lot of the time. I usually combine it with distraction. It might go like this:
Benjamin starts screaming
Me: Benjamin, what's wrong?
Me: You want to play with your car?
Benjamin: YEEEAH (stops crying)
Me: We can't play with the car right now because its bedtime, but we are going to read a book! What book do you want to take upstairs?
That probably sounds really cheesy and like its out of a parenting book, but it totally works 9 times out of 10. It also helps to ask him to "say goodbye' to things we are stopping or leaving (like toys, the park, etc). I also try to repeat things a lot when I want him to understand what is going to happen next.
Academics: Benjamin can tell the difference between one and more than one. Anything more than one he calls two. He likes to point to things and has us count them and I am working on 1-2-3 with him. Benjamin can pick out the colors yellow, green, white, and blue. For awhile he answered yellow whenever you asked him what color something was, and then everything was green for awhile. Even at this time he could pick out a yellow crayon if asked to do so. I think it was a language thing, he knew yellow was a color if that makes sense. He knows some shapes - they have been working on them at daycare. He especially likes to point out stars. He knows his vehicles. He can differentiate between Trucks, Cars, tractors, diggers, firetrucks, police cars, motorcycles, bikes, scooters, station wagons, and SUVs, though he thinks all SUVs are "jeeps". I am sure there are other farm implements and such he knows as his favorite book is still "The Big Book of Things That Go".
Reading: Benjamin loves to read and be read to. When he reads it is adorable (though he does not do it often at home). You can tell he is trying to say what he remembers of the book or what he sees in the pictures. For example, we have a library book called "Good Morning Digger" and when Benjamin read it to himself he said "digger" "yellow" and "truck" a lot. There are books that Benjamin has a favorite part of that he is waiting for. He likes Old McDonald's "e-i-e-i-o". He likes "the going to bed book" where they are coming down the stairs tired. We have been reading a wider variety of books, and he lets us get through a lot more of them now.
Eating: As of about two weeks ago, Benjamin is weaned entirely. Ending breastfeeding is bittersweet! Its nice to have my body back, and to be able to have DH help with bedtime and night time a lot more, but it was a special thing (mother child bonding and all that - lots of snuggling). In terms of real food, Benjamin always wants Cheerios. All of the time. He is intermittent on what else he likes... one day he will love a meal, two days later give him the same thing and he hardly touches it. A lot of it is just his mood, how hungry he is, whether he would rather be doing something else, how it is presented, whether you are eating it.. etc etc etc. He can drink out of a cup when we let him, but usually we give him a sippy cup out of convenience (so he can carry it around etc).
Sleeping: The main reason we weaned was because we wanted him to sleep better, and its working. I originally intended to night wean (leaving only a 7pm breastfeeding session), but the way things played out, it just made sense to wean all together. He now sleeps through the night more often then not. Its a great change.
Likes: Benjamin still loves being outside. He still loves anything with wheels. He likes to clean up after himself - "away away" he will say. He has gotten very good at building with blocks. He has a set of Duplo's that is cars - three car bases and lots of windshield, truck bed, engine, etc parts to build cars. He loves these. He also has mega blocks he builds all sorts of crazy things with. And when he is done, away into their boxes they go. He likes to roll around balls. He likes to kick balls. he likes to try and hit a hockey puck with a stick or watch us do it. He likes bubbles. He loves boats and going near water - throwing rocks in water, going to watch boats come in the canal, walking along the water, etc. He loves cookies, cheerios, and ice cream. He likes to press buttons. He likes to open doors when he can reach them. He likes to be in control of his environment. He likes water and lemonade and his night time pacifier, though he knows he only gets it at night now. He likes the playground (and can find it himself if we let him pick which direction to go). He likes watching videos on you tube (usually vehicles, animals, or elmo). He likes Elmo. He likes most kids songs. He likes to splash in water. He likes to wash his hands. He likes to look at car-ads that come in the mail. He likes saying "uh oh" when anything is out of place or not as he expects it to be.
Dislikes: Benjamin doesn't like hamburger very much, it can be challenging getting him to eat it in most dishes. He doesn't like when the pets are too close to him or on the table. He doesn't like getting dropped off at daycare. Most days it goes OK, but its harder than it used to be and some days he totally loses it. He doesn't like being told we have to stop something he likes. He doesn't like waiting and we have to find distractions while dinner is cooking. He had a total meltdown at my parents house the other night because he wanted sweet corn and it was still raw. He doesn't like turning - when we take him in the stroller he wants us to go straight for ever and ever. He doesn't like when we are eating or drinking something he cannot have. He doesn't like spicy bbq sauce. He doesn't like being in the car very long (unless its nap or bedtime). He doesn't like it when DH sings the Alphabet. He doesn't like it when he wants to be up in the morning and we are both still sleepy. He doesn't sleep in. He doesn't like trying to go to sleep somewhere besides his bed, daycare cot, or the car. He hates the doctor.
That is Benjamin at 20 months... enough detail?? LOL